The name “Tunkhannock” comes from the Minsi-Len’api term Ptuk’hanna’unk, which means “Bend-in the-river-place.”

Tunkhannock Borough Municipal Authority, originally named the Tunkhannock Water Company was chartered on April 22, 1858. Its property consisted of several springs on the Slocum Farm, and a system of wooden pipes leading to what was then known as the “hill district”. Tunkhannock had two water companies at the end of the 19th Century.  The second water company was called The Slocum Springs Water Company.  They had no water supply of their own but derived water through the Elk Tanning Company which drew its water from the Slocum Spring located near the Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks.

In 1870 the wooden pipes and distributing reservoir on West Street were abandoned. Then 3 inch to 8-inch diameter cast iron mains were laid on the principal streets in the lower portion of town from 1870-1885. Fire hydrants were installed and Triton Hose Company was formed to fight fires. In 1885 The Slocum Springs Water Company built a well on the Brunges Farm west of the Borough. It was enclosed with solid masonry and laid up with stone and cement. It not only supplied water to the growing community but in October of 1885 it is reported to have been a destination of choice for most people out for a Sunday walk. In September 1891, the two water companies of Tunkhannock became one as the Tunkhannock Water Company absorbed the Slocum Springs Water Company. Work progressed on the development of the water distribution system in 1907 as ditching and laying pipe continued to Sunnyside Cemetery.

In June 1896 work began on the Tunkhannock Borough sewer system with 75 laborers brought in to dig trenches by hand and lay sewer pipe. One laborer was caught by a cave-in while working in the sewer trench at the corner of Bridge and Church Streets and narrowly escaped death. The first fall of earth caught him about the legs, and before he could be extricated, another avalanche buried him up to his neck. Thus, was the beginning of the Tunkhannock sewer system.